The Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Services Commission (EMTSC) proposition is seeming like deja vue. Remember the discarded MUC and the solar farm propositions?
Thank you to St. Albert Gazette reporter Jack Farrell for presenting his excellent thorough overviews of how we have arrived at this deep hole full of red flags! Hiring him at city hall would be money well spent!
A reporter was able to ferret out all the many communications, and by contacting the appropriate personnel find out all the necessary explanatory information to fully understand this ever changing and complicated issue full of red flags! The “unexpected additional costs” that apparently have only now have “frustrated and disappointed some council members” were clearly unfolding well before the troubling deadlines St. Albert taxpayers must now fund.
Who at St. Albert city hall was responsible to do this on behalf of St. Albert taxpayers so informed decisions could be made before it is too late? Was it part time Coun. Wes Brodhead who is St. Albert’s enthusiastic representative on the EMTSC? Or the former and current CEOs of St. Albert? Or a city department responsible for collating that information to present to Mayor Heron who then gives it to council?
It is disappointing and unprofessional to see councillors who constructively question city expenditures labelled as “clearly always against” whatever.
How can council make informed financial decisions on the current budget and for future items such as the proposed future rec centre without detailed financial figures? Where are the details of the $100,000 library audit that I am assuming led to another year of full funding? Where is the councillor requested million dollar plus detailed breakdown of external consultants’ fees and the additional expenses pertaining to them that were reported to be buried in each separate department “so they were difficult and time-consuming” to collate? Where is the detailed breakdown of the Servus Centre’s cash flow in and out?
At least one councillor has been accused of “going into the weeds” when she questioned what were considered the $50,000 minor expenses for biannual tech items replacement as “such a minor item in a huge budget!” When folks make a personal budget, it is advised that they start by rooting out all their weeds. These seemingly small, minor, wants- expenditures that add up such as those daily lattes, impromptu entertainment choices, little impulse buys here and there etc. These want-weeds choke out the funds to pay for the essential needs, or to plan for the really desired future wants.
Seems to me those “weeds” can add up to a lot even in a large budget! Ask the local organization who is not getting their $50,000 or less grant this year.
Will there be any changes to avoid this type of EMTSC scenario once again in the future?
Will the citizens of St. Albert once again have to bring out their personal expertise to scour through the info and point out the red flags?
Judy Loutit, St. Albert